Subject. The study determines directions for developing the business activity in the Russian regions. Methods. The study is based on the systems approach and methods of statistical, neural network and cluster analysis. Results. I review the current aspects of the regional business development when business rules are changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The article scrutinizes the concept of entrepreneurship in terms of historical development and legal status. Having conducted the content analysis of the business activity in a lagging region of the Russian Federation, I found its highest concentration, with small businesses (and microbusinesses) taking the lead and maintaining the employment. Businesses tend to trade in goods of other producers, thus decreasing the average headcount for smaller businesses, including microbusinesses. Studying the hierarchy of economic activity types small businesses engage in by share of investment in the capital stock (in terms of new and imported fixed assets), I note the unprofitable investment n such foreign trade activities, such as Agriculture, forestry, hunting, fisheries and fish farming, and Construction. The dynamism of small businesses drops earlier, longer and deeper if compared to sole proprietors. In a lagging region, smaller business forms can evolve only if they deal with trade. Conclusions and Relevance. The content analysis of the Russian regional business gave an understanding of its development limits from perspectives of a lagging region, which determines the growth rates of business activity in Russia. The content analysis reveals high growth rates of trade in goods that smaller businesses sell, without being their producers. The findings contribute to the knowledge and competence of specialists working for the Russian Ministry of Economic Development to make consistent managerial decisions concerning the distribution and redistribution of investment resources.
Keywords: budget, investment, innovation, business activity, region, structure
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